The (re)making of polycentricity in China’s planning discourse: the case of Tianjin

Wang, W., Wang, Y. P. and Kintrea, K. (2020) The (re)making of polycentricity in China’s planning discourse: the case of Tianjin. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 44(5), pp. 857-875. (doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12876)

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Polycentricity is promoted as an ideal urban form to achieve sustainable and balanced development, and it has been widely adopted by planners in China, especially in large cities. However, the rhetoric about polycentricity has rarely been interrogated in planning research in terms of scales, contextuality, power and rationality. To fill this gap, we carried out a Foucauldian discourse analysis in our research to interpret the nature of polycentric practice in City Master Plans, using Tianjin as a case study. Through an analysis of how the discourse of polycentricity is being deployed in planning documents, we develop two principal arguments in this article. First, the conceptual substance of polycentricity evolved alongside the urban transition process in China, and its discursive practice involved multiple scales and spatial elements. Secondly, rather than being mere technocratic practice, the production and legitimation of distinct discourses of polycentricity is an articulation of multi‐scalar power involving various stakeholders, which is disguised and justified by the planning profession.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:WANG, WEIKAI and Kintrea, Professor Keith and Wang, Professor Ya Ping
Authors: Wang, W., Wang, Y. P., and Kintrea, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
ISSN (Online):1468-2427
Published Online:19 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 44(5): 857-875
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172307The Re-Making of Chinese Urban Neighbourhoods: Spatial and socio-economic transformations and access to public services in Tianjin, Hangzhou, ChengduYa Ping WangEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/N010981/1S&PS - Urban Studies